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C.O. COVID-19 impacts: Business announcements, information

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- We've added another running list, this one for coronavirus-related business announcements and information. Send yours to


Notice Monday from Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity:

To Our Habitat Family:
We care about you and find ourselves trying to make sense of this new chapter in our book of life. You may be feeling scared, unsure, confused. We are here for you. We will stand strong with you as we navigate our new normal, that which I hope is only for a little while.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to make some changes, effective immediately, for Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity. We will be closing our ReStores in Bend and Redmond, our Administrative offices and all of our Construction sites for the next 2 weeks to keep our staff, volunteers, donors, families, customers and more as safe and healthy as possible. At the end of these 2 weeks, we will reevaluate to see what other measures we may need to take.

We will be keeping our website up to date as we have news for you.
Robin Cooper Engle
Director of Development


News release from the Oregon Bankers Association:

The Oregon Bankers Association (OBA) and banks serving Oregon communities are proactively addressing the rapidly developing issues related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The highest priority of the banking industry is the health and safety of employees, customers and communities. As such, banks are taking many precautions and proactive measures. Fortunately, banks have well-developed risk management practices and business continuity plans, which means they are prepared to respond to the evolving pandemic response while delivering uninterrupted service to their customers.

Moreover, current capital and liquidity levels in the banking industry are very high, which means banks are well-positioned to withstand the economic impact of this challenging time and to help their customers do the same.

Some of the steps banks are taking include enhancing cleaning and sanitation practices, implementing remote work policies for non-customer facing staff, increasing social distancing measures for all customer-facing staff and restricting staff travel. When possible, customers are encouraged to use online and mobile banking to monitor their accounts, check balances, make payments, transfer funds and deposit checks. Additional options include using ATMs, night depositories, drive-thrus and calling your bank directly for assistance. Customers can also take advantage of their debit and credit card when making payments.

Many banks are also taking steps to accommodate impacted customers through small business support, select payment deferrals, hardship loan programs and other measures based on individual circumstances. We encourage any customer who is experiencing a hardship due to the pandemic to contact their financial institution as soon as they can to specifically discuss their individual financial situation and understand what assistance may be available to them. Customers can also check their financial institutions’ website for updates and options.

“We know this is an extremely challenging and uncertain time,” said OBA Chair Craig Wanichek, president and CEO of Summit Bank. “Talk with your banker, share your plan. We are here to help you address the financial impacts of COVID-19 on your business or personal financial situation.”

OBA’s website includes a page - - with information and links related to the Oregon banking industry’s coronavirus response. The association and its member banks will continue to closely monitor the situation and take additional measures as advised to protect and support employees, customers and communities.


Rob Eggers, principal broker at Duke Warner Realty in Bend, shared this information Sunday on the topic: Is COVID-19 impacting Bend real estate?

"I asked this very question to about 20 brokers in our office meeting this past week and four of them reported lost business, or transactions.

"Some said it was due to the stock market dropping so low that their clients were not able to draw enough money from their portfolio in order to make a down payment. Others mentioned that fear of the economic impact caused their clients to hold off for a while until things improve.

"I personally held an open house on Friday and only had one person through, whereas when we first listed the home two weeks ago, we had about 20 people through. With so many shutdowns and closures, trillions of dollars are lost throughout our economy, and this will definitely affect real estate sales in one way or another."


This is Bridget Bostrom, owner of Hopscotch Kids Children's Store. As of Monday, we will be closing our physical storefront thru April 1st as this pandemic unfolds. 

As a small business, this was a difficult decision to make, but one that I feel is socially responsible for this community that I love and the safety of all people. 

Having family and friends who work in the medical community gives me a first-hand look at how serious this situation is.  It is our job as a community to do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

I am hopeful that other local businesses will follow suit, as we need a community and worldwide effort to halt the progression of this virus.  Swift action needs to be taken to ensure that events happening in other parts of the world do not happen to our community and our country.

That being said, we know that kids still grow, birthdays still happen and babies are still born. We feel lucky to continue to help make these moments special and joyful for our customers and community, just in a modified manner. 

We have an online store where customers can shop or preview products and inventory.  We are happy to take phone orders and offer free same-day local deliveries or outside store pickup.  We can work with customers by face-time, phone and text messaging. Of course we will still gift wrap your purchases for free! We are continually working on new and creative ways that we can serve you while we wait for this period to pass.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.  

Now is the time to make "shop local" matter.  We as a community will get through this together, and be stronger for it.  Thank you for supporting your local businesses and supporting one another as we navigate these unprecedented times.

Bridget Bostrom
Owner, Hopscotch Kids Children's Store
1303 NW Galveston
Bend OR 97703


Jeffery Temple, Fred Meyer's director of corporate affairs, shared an update with media regarding the associate who tested positive for COVID-19. The associate worked at the 18805 State Route 2 location in Monroe, Washington.

"The associate, who is receiving medical care and is recovering, last worked in our store on March 5. We are supporting them and wish them all the best in their recovery," Temple wrote.

Here are the top three takeaways: 

  1. We are enacting an Emergency Leave Guidelines policy, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19 and for associates placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider or by a public health authority because of COVID-19.
  1. We have been informed by public health officials that a King Soopers associate in Colorado and Fred Meyer associate in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19. Both associates are receiving medical care and are recovering. 
  1. We have immediate positions available combined across our retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Candidates may apply via and could be placed for employment within several days of applying.

We will continue to make decisions that allow us to operate clean, open and stocked stores to serve our customers and support our associates.

March 14, 2020

To: All Associates
Re: COVID-19 and the Health of Our Associates

Thank you for all you are doing to be there for our Customers, our Communities, and each other while our country is confronting the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Our stores, facilities, plants and offices are busier than ever before. On behalf of the entire leadership team, we are deeply grateful for how this amazing team of more than 460,000 Associates has pulled together to live Our Purpose, to Feed the Human Spirit, in this challenging time.

We activated our preparedness plan several weeks ago, and we’ve been taking actions to keep our Customers and Associates safe and healthy and our stores open and operating efficiently to be there for our Communities.

We want to share that we have been informed by public health officials that a King Soopers Associate in Colorado and Fred Meyer Associate in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19. Both Associates are receiving medical care and are recovering. We are supporting them and wish them all the best in their recovery.

Upon learning of these cases, we partnered with state and local health experts, followed all sanitation and cleaning procedures, communicated with and supported our store teams, and with the support of the state governments, the stores remain open. We will continue to follow guidance from local, state and federal agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations. 

Our Customers and Communities are counting on us. In times of uncertainty, the Kroger Family of Companies is here. We ask that you continue to practice standard safety guidelines and follow the CDC’s preventive tips, including frequent handwashing and regularly disinfecting commonly touched areas.

Policy Update: Emergency Leave Guidelines and Other Updates

We understand that you may have questions regarding your coverage if you or someone in your household or immediate family becomes ill.

Effective immediately, the Kroger Family of Companies is enacting the Emergency Leave Guidelines policy, allowing paid time off for Associates diagnosed with COVID-19 and for Associates placed under mandatory quarantine by their medical provider or by a public health authority because of COVID-19. All eligible Associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).

We know you may also be concerned about the application of general attendance policies. Our managers will work with you on a case by case basis, mindful that we must be flexible during this time. If Associates are unable to return to work after 14 days, additional paid time off may be available through your Short-Term Disability (STD) benefit.

For those affected by COVID-19, we have also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund – a Kroger-organization-sponsored fund that provides financial assistance to Associates who are experiencing financial hardships due to an unexpected or emergency situation.

In the event an Associate needs to work from home and is able to work from home, Alternative Work Schedules (AWS) are available to many Associates and should be discussed with your manager. Our preparedness plan has included several proactive measures in the event a higher volume of Associates need to work at alternative locations. For resources and instructions on working remotely through VPN and setting up Teams Meetings, visit

At this time, we are extending our decision to suspend commercial air and certain business travel through April 15. Please contact the travel services department regarding any scheduled upcoming trips to cancel. Any exceptions must be reviewed with your senior officer and Tim Massa, chief people officer. 

A Heartfelt Thanks

The true heroes in this story are you – our Associates. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed. We see it, and our Customers see it. To show our appreciation, every Associate in the company will receive a small token of gratitude on their loyalty card next week. While this is just a small gesture, we hope you realize the tremendous value you bring not only to our organization but also to our Customers. We could not weather this storm without you. Details will be shared with you early next week.

We remain guided by Our Values and Our Purpose. We will continue to make decisions that balance the safety of our Associates with our commitments to our Customers and Communities. 

Thank you for all you do for our Customers, Communities and each other.

Rodney McMullen

Kroger Chairman & CEO


Local Bend Restaurant Group, Spin the Kitchen, to Serve Free Breakfast to Students in Need Amid COVID-19 School Shutdown

The group, which operates local restaurants Life & Time, Vida Y Tacos and Mavericks Country Bar & Grill, will host breakfast at their Vida Y Tacos location on the Westside this Tuesday. Additional locations and meal dates will be announced soon.

In response to statewide school closures due to coronavirus, local Bend restaurant group, Spin the Kitchen, is stepping in to offer students and community members in need with a free hot breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon and fruit at their Vida Y Tacos location on the Westside this Tuesday, March 17 starting at 8:00 am.

The free breakfast event aims to offer assistance to households impacted by the two-week school shutdown, as well as raise awareness and rally support for those in our community who rely on free or reduced-cost meals provided by the school district to feed their children. In addition to an individual breakfast, guests may also take an extra meal to deliver to a family or other children who do not have transportation.

“As a parent of school-aged children myself, I share in the community’s concern for students and families throughout Deschutes County who are in need of meal assistance during school closures” said Garrett Wales, Owner of Life & Time and Vida Y Tacos on Bend’s Westside.

“It’s our hope that Tuesday’s free breakfast can help alleviate the burden of wondering where a meal may come from that day, as well as shine a light on the need for more support around this important issue. We’re all in this together and our team is working hard to find ways to expand meal assistance over the coming days.”

While the event’s primary objective is to assist school-aged children, it is also open to any community member in need who would benefit from a free breakfast on Tuesday. The breakfast will operate on the honor system, meaning no form of proof or ID will be required to participate, but community members are asked to use good judgement and integrity when accepting this assistance.

All Spin the Kitchen restaurants, including Tuesday’s free breakfast location at Vida Y Tacos, have been taking extra steps to combat the virus and maintain as afe dining environment for customers and staff. In addition to deep cleaning and sanitizing each restaurant every night, measures include sanitizing all hard surfaces and guest interaction points like door handles, bathrooms and countertops as frequent as every 30 minutes, as well as sanitizing credit card machines after each use.

WHO: - Children who are in need of meal assistance during school closures- Community members in need due to coronavirus impact

WHEN: Tuesday, March 178:00-10:00am*Additional locations and dates will be announced soon on the Vida Y Tacosand Life & Time Instagram pages

WHERE: Vida Y Tacos(320 SW Century Dr Suite #410, Bend, OR 97702) Located in shared parking lot at the Safeway on Century Drive

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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